‘That is a safety risk’: For 6 months, college student has been asking for rotted door to be fixed

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 3:18 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 3:35 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) student living at The James Apartments says she has been waiting for close to a year for a door that is rotted off its hinges to be fixed or replaced.

For a year and a half, Emily Valcourt has lived at The James paying close to $1,000 a month for her portion of the rent. Valcourt says most of the time in her unit has been spent sending maintenance requests to the building management.

A VCU student living at The James Apartments says she has been waiting for close to a year for...
A VCU student living at The James Apartments says she has been waiting for close to a year for a door that is rotted off its hinges to be fixed or replaced.(NBC 12)

“The biggest issue - the back door has been rotted off the hinges for over 6 months. The report was placed about a year ago with my old roommate,” Valcourt explained.

She and her new roommate continue to wait for the door to be replaced, but they have dealt with the door falling off the hinges many times, the reason they have tried their best to seal the door with tape or other household items they can find to help.

“They screwed it back into the rotted wood, the maintenance man, while he was doing it, said, ‘they need to replace the door’,” she said. “It has fallen off the hinges completely while we are not here. We have come home from work at 11 or 12 at night, just seeing the door resting on the balcony.”

Valcourt says she is relieved she and her roommate live on the second floor of the building because the door falling off its hinges could make it easy for her dog to get out, or an intruder to get in.

“I have records, I have placed six maintenance orders, they said they were going to replace it - they haven’t given clear answers. They give my mom the run around when she emails them,” she said.

One of the earliest maintenance requests Valcourt shared with NBC12 dates back to August 2021. In a Dec. 1 e-mail to Valcourt and her mother, the building manager wrote:

“We are aware of the door and are working on identifying vendors who are able to provide suitable replacements; the previous company we worked with went out of business during the pandemic. In reviewing her utility charges, they look in line with what she has paid since moving in.

“I will get with maintenance and see what we can do to insulate the door so no air/heat is escaping and I will review the utility charges again. Have they experienced any issues with their air conditioning unit? If so, that could explain the charges as well but again, I will review and make any adjustments (I will follow up with you regarding any changes to the utility charges.)

“Once a vendor is identified, we will ensure that the doors are replaced. I appreciate your patience and understanding and I will be in touch.”

Valcourt says the complex sent a contractor to seal the door shut with metal braces, and the door is now unusable. They continue to wait for the replacement.

The NBC12 On Your Side Investigators reached out three times to the building manager, and continue to wait to hear back.

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